BBC Bitesize - KS3 English Literature - Characters - Revision 4
Free Essay: Friar Laurence and the Nurse The Tragedy of Romeo and He weds Romeo and Juliet hoping the feud between the Capulets and. Friar Laurence is a character in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet in the attempt to stop the civil feud between the Capulets. Friar Laurence makes a convincing argument that Romeo's love for Juliet could But, if he's so skeptical of the relationship, why does he agree to secretly marry Friar Laurence is crossing his fingers a union between Romeo and Juliet will.
Even at the last when the tragic ending has come, and he is forced to unburden himself of his secret, though he palliates nothing, his confession of error is only conditional; "if aught in this," he says, "Miscarried by my fault, let my old life Be sacrificed some hour before his time Unto the rigour of severest law.
Hudson has "always felt a special comfort in the part of Friar Laurence. How finely his tranquillity contrasts with the surrounding agitation!
And how natural it seems that from that very agitation he should draw lessons of tranquillity! According to Gervinus, the Friar "represents, as it were, the part of the chorus in this tragedy, and expresses the leading idea of the piece in all its fullness, namely, that excess in any enjoyment, however pure in itself, transforms its sweet into bitterness; that devotion to any single feeling, however noble, bespeaks its ascendancy; that this ascendancy moves the man and woman out of their natural spheres; that love can only be an accompaniment to life, and that it cannot completely fill out the life and business of the man especially; that in the full power of its first feeling it is a paroxysm of happiness, the very nature of which forbids its continuance in equal strength; that, as the poet says in an image, it is a flower that 'Being smelt, with that part cheers each part; Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Surely he does not seek to "moralize this spectacle" through the agency of one who despite his long years, his acquisition of knowledge, his experience of life, his trusted philosophy, errs so grievously, errs in broad daylight, and without the excuse of passion to disturb his calm and tranquil mind. Shakespeare, it seems to me, dramatizes Brooke's narrative in his own incomparable fashion, and he does nothing more. From The Works of William Shakespeare.
Friar Laurence is full of goodness and natural piety, a monk such as Spinoza or Goethe would have loved, an undogmatic sage, with the astuteness and benevolent Jesuitism of an old confessor — brought up on the milk and bread of philosophy, not on the fiery liquors of religious fanaticism.
It is very characteristic of the freedom of spirit which Shakespeare early acquired, in the sphere in which freedom was then hardest of attainment, that this monk is drawn with so delicate a touch, without the smallest ill-will towards conquered Catholicism, yet without the smallest leaning towards Catholic doctrine — the emancipated creation of an emancipated poet.
The Poet here rises immeasurably above his original, Arthur Brooke, who, in his naively moralising "Address to the Reader," makes the Catholic religion mainly responsible for the impatient passion of Romeo and Juliet and the disasters which result from it. It would be to misunderstand the whole spirit of the play if we were to reproach Friar Laurence with the not only romantic but preposterous nature of the means he adopts to help the lovers — the sleeping-potion administered to Juliet.
This Shakespeare simply accepted from his original, with his usual indifference to external detail. The Poet has placed in the mouth of Friar Laurence a tranquil life-philosophy, which he first expresses in general terms, and then applies to the case of the lovers.
He enters his cell with a basket full of herbs from the garden.
Some of them have curative properties, others contain death-dealing juices; a plant which has a sweet and salutary smell may be poisonous to the taste; for good and evil are but two sides to the same thing II. Therefore Romeo is obviously very close and sees the Friar as a father-like figure. Also we can tell he has a close relationship with Juliet as later on in the play when Romeo is banished, she goes to Friar Lawrence to seek help, and obviously he knows about the relationship whilst her parents do not.
Shakespeare wrote the play Julius Caesar in Essay Therefore I believe the Friar had good intentions and hoped for the best for the couple, and did definitely not wish for the events to take place but ultimately it was a large extent of his actions and plans, which brought about the tragedy. Firstly, like the Nurse, he played a great part in bringing the couple closer together.
Friar Lawrence agreed to marry the couple, even though he knew it would be without their parents consent, and in secret — which could in the end cause problems. In the end however it did, but only through the deaths of these children, which was not intended, and it was only these deaths, which really could end the war between the houses. So he thought up the plan where Juliet would take the potion and her family would think she were dead, and she would wake in the tomb where Romeo would find her and they would escape.
His plan seemed well thought out, and would have worked if the message had got to Romeo informing him of the plan.
Introduction to Shakespeare's Friar Laurence from Romeo and Juliet
Friar Lawrence had told Romeo to look out for a message from Balthasar, but Friar Lawrence decided to send Friar John to tell Romeo the details of the plan. This caused a number of problems. Firstly Friar John could not successfully send the letter of explanation due to a plague, which meant he could not go outside. Therefore Balthasar got to Romeo quicker with the news that Juliet was dead, rather than just unconscious as part of the plan.
Friar Laurence - Wikipedia
As Romeo was looking out for Balthasar due to what Friar Lawrence had said, he would be pretty sure that what Balthasar was to say would be true. And it was this news that he acted upon which caused the eventual tragic end to the story. He foolishly leaves Juliet in the tomb — knowing that she is about to commit suicide. He is cowardly in leaving, and should try to protect her life by staying with her and persuading her to stay alive.
Overall I can conclude that the Nurse and Friar Lawrence do play a part in this tragedy, especially the Friar, but their intentions were definitely good. The pair act as a sort of mother and father to both of the teenagers and try to do what they think best in the difficult situation they are put in, but there are other factors, notably fate, which contribute to tragedy of the play. The first reference to fate comes even before the play starts, in the prologue; it states that the course of their love was destined for death.
As from the very beginning it is evident that they were ill-fated I think that the actions of the people are not to blame, as it was destined to happen. Romeo is suspecting that what will happen that night will lead to his premature death. This is fate, as obviously hat night the two will meet which leads to their relationship and the final tragedy. We can tell here he is foreseeing what will happen in the future and so we cannot really blame the actions of people such as Friar Lawrence for the tragedy as it was seen to happen beforehand.
The tragedy was fated to happen I believe to end the feud between the Montagues and Capulets. The feud, therefore, I believe to be quite obviously one of the main factors, which resulted in the tragedy. This is because if there had never been a rift between the Montagues and Capulets then Romeo and Juliet could have probably married happily without protest and such a plan which turned out so wrong would have never need to have been thought up.
And also I believe that the tragedy seems to have occurred in ending the feud, and it was only the deaths of these two children, which could end this feud.